Colorado Republicans appeal to supreme court after Trump disqualified from state ballot

Former president and frontrunner for Republican 2024 presidential nomination also expected to file own appeal

The Colorado Republican Party has asked the US supreme court to intervene after Colorado’s top court disqualified former president Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s Republican primary ballot, an attorney for the Republican group said.

The appeal comes after the Colorado supreme court last week disqualified Trump because of his role in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. The court barred Trump under a US constitutional provision prohibiting anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding public office.

The Colorado Republican Party is being represented by Jay Sekulow of the conservative litigation firm the American Center for Law & Justice.

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, is expected to file his own appeal. The state high court had put its decision on hold until 4 January, stating that Trump would remain on the ballot if he appealed.

The Colorado court’s ruling marked the first time in history that section 3 of the US constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment – the so-called disqualification clause – had been used to deem a presidential candidate ineligible for the White House.

The 4-3 Colorado supreme court ruling reversed a lower court judge’s conclusion that Trump engaged in insurrection by inciting his supporters to violence, but as president, he was not an “officer of the United States” who could be disqualified under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Colorado court concluded that Trump’s role instigating violence at the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the results of the 2020 election constituted engaging in insurrection, and that the presidency is covered by the insurrection provision.

The attack was an attempt by Trump’s supporters to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democratic president Joe Biden, which Trump falsely claims was the result of fraud.

Courts have rejected several lawsuits seeking to keep Trump off the primary ballot in other states. Minnesota’s top court rebuffed an effort to disqualify Trump from the Republican primary in that state but did not rule on his overall eligibility to serve as president last month and on Wednesday Michigan’s supreme court upheld a lower court order allowing him to remain on the state ballot.